Image As Virus: Better Badges In The Punk Era

August 2nd - November 1, 2018
3407 W. Armitage Chicago, IL

The Busy Beaver Button Museum is pleased to host a special exhibit, "Image As Virus: Better Badges In The Punk Era", an exhibition of historical punk badges (a.k.a. “buttons”) produced from 1976-1983.

The exhibit debuted in New York in December 2016 and focuses on Better Badges, a small but culturally influential merchandise company founded by Joly MacFie in West London. Better Badges created the very first punk button in 1976 and went on to produce an estimated 40 million buttons over the next six years until its demise in 1982.

Featuring the private 10,000+ button collection of Kevin Pedersen, head of Brooklyn-based “What's Your Rupture?” record label and initiator of the “PunkBadges” Instagram site.

Come see rare and original merchandise by key punk bands and independent record labels such as Buzzcocks, Ramones, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Blondie, Joy Division, Crass, The Modern Lovers, Patti Smith, Suicide, Stiff Records, FAST Product, The Raincoats, and Motorhead.

About Better Badges:

Joly MacFie and his Better Badges company helped fuel the rise in fan-based promotions popularized by independent record labels. These well-known and highly collectible badges were instrumental in the meteoric ascension of punk music around the world. MacFie believes anyone can afford to collect and wear badges, and that fans, rather than record labels or music industry executives, should dictate music trends.

My Button, My Choice: A fundraiser for The Button Museum

Join us for a night of beer and button at the Button Museum's inaugural fundraiser. Party starts at 5:30pm with a presentation on the History of Cause buttons at 6:30pm.

Food genrously provided byBig Delicious Planet.


Mon, March 20, 2017
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM CDT


Lagunitas Brewing Company, The TapRoom
2607 West 17th Street
Chicago, IL 60608

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Can't make it the the fundraiser? Donate online at or through Amazon Smile.

Thank you for your support!

About the fundraiser:

The Button Museum operates on a $10,000 a year budget, which is currently funded by Busy Beaver Button Co. That money covers the librarian wages and the cost of button acquisition. In order to grow the museum and keep our 501C3 status, we must start accepting contributions from the public.

Our goal for 2017 is to receive $4,000 in donations.

How the funds will be used:

The $4,000 will be used to update the online museum. Our goal is to improve user experience, increase educational content, and increase interaction with the collection. Wish List:

  • A general re-design to make it easier to find information
  • Create additional exhibits on specific topics like “Space Travel”or “Causes”
  • Make the images of the buttons easier to share on social media
  • Include virtual tours with video of the collection
  • Add our zine, “A Very Brief History of Buttons”
  • Add new content that people have already requested, like an article on how to spot fake buttons and a collector’s resource page.

This is our first fundraiser or any type of donation request. Thank you so much for your support and contribution!